It was midway through 2013 that I realized for various family-related reasons that I needed to come home to New York. I had spent nearly 14 years away, spending 10 of those in San Francisco during my time as a journalist at Ziff-Davis Media working at Gamespot, EGM, GMR, and 1UP, before moving to Japan and working in game development with my growing family for another four years.

But the thought of moving back to New York city was a daunting prospect for me. The East Coast does not boast the same number of game developers as the West Coast does (game publishers yes, developers no), and I would liked to have, if possible, remain in game development. I had by this point in my career gained a lot of experience in the development side of things, and while I was prepared to leave the industry entirely if the right match didn’t present itself, I was skeptical that I would find something that fit.

Amazingly, after having put out some feelers, I received an e-mail from a friend who put me in touch with a mutual friend who was moving all the way from Vancouver to Brooklyn, NY, to join a studio comprised of industry veterans determined to make mobile games of the highest caliber. A few unexpectedly encouraging conversations later, my fortunes suddenly turned from “Where the heck am I going to go?” to “I seriously want to join this team!” It was, after all, somewhat surreal that my luck could be so good. But, after some discussions with my very supportive and very (at the time) pregnant wife, I signed on, and we started to execute the extensive planning required to bring our entire brood back to New York. With a new baby on the way, and the invitation to be a part of something exciting and new, 2014 was looking like an incredible year.

Perhaps the nuance that I have understated here is that I feel incredibly fortunate to have fallen in with such a group of like-minded, game-playing professionals. One of the things I was attracted to was that each team member was hand-picked to ensure that they love games and play games. To be able to share the same nerd vocabulary, while excelling at the highest technical level is crucial, and something I believe distinguishes us. When you have a small team you can’t afford to have even a single piece of the machine that is out of sync with the rest of the group. So I’m honored to be a part of this tiny but ambitious team we call TURBO. A lot of our ability to assemble such a team and hopefully execute on our goals is a direct result of our partnership with SoftBank. They have a stellar track record with their development partnerships and I’m looking forward to adding to that success.

A twist of fate, the luck of the draw, in the right place at the right time? Call it what you want, but I’m thrilled to be here, because I can live in the city of my dreams and continue to do the things I love. All at team TURBO.

 

Blessed in Brooklyn,

James Mielke

Senior Producer